Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence

Here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

Many, many projects, businesses and people have failed at the execution stage.

New processes and procedures, new customer service initiatives, new marketing and advertising campaigns, new visual merchandising techniques…and the list goes on…all are subject to failure when they reach the execution stage.

The best plans and ideas, the best programs – no matter how carefully thought through and detailed, can fail miserably simply because of lack of excellence in execution.

Operational excellence depends heavily on the Highly Successful Retail Manager’s (HSRM’s) ability to see that everything done at store level is executed perfectly.

This is no small task as anyone reading this can attest to.

It is difficult for a store manager, more difficult for a district or regional manager and next to impossible at Head Office level.

When many individuals are involved in the execution of anything, there are multiple opportunities for things to go wrong.

Conversely, there are multiple opportunities for things to go right. And this is where the HSRM focuses. He looks for ways to ensure that things can go right.

He makes it possible for things to go right and removes obstacles that can get in the way of getting it right.

He teaches his people the finer points of operational excellence. He provides training, coaching and on the spot guidance and advice.

He is present or he has designated an individual who is present to see that the task is executed properly.

He makes checklists and has people sign off when something has been done.

And he follows up again and again until every associate knows exactly what is expected and until everything is done.

He leaves no room for doubt about what is acceptable and what is not. He will not accept sub-standard work.

If the standards are not kept very high, operational excellence will not be achieved.

Human beings have a tendency to come up with their own idea of how much is enough. The HSRM does not leave that open to interpretation.

To some, this may sound like the HSRM is too picky, or difficult to please.

That is not the case and when the associates see how their attention to detail results in operational excellence being achieved, they will understand that the HSRM is right and that his methods are working in the best interests of the company, the store and the employees.


The Highly Successful Retail Manager is Growth Minded

A Wise Person Said:

“If you are not growing, you are dying.”

HSRM’s focus relentlessly on growth! They want to know what is next? What can I do that is bigger? Better? New? Different?

They want to anticipate and meet the evolving needs of their associates and customers.

They want to accelerate the implementation of practices and procedures and focus their resources on top and bottom line growth.

HSRM’s understand that there are only 3-Ways to Grow their Business

  1. Get more customers.
  2. Get your existing customers to buy more often.
  3. Increase the Average $/customer (ASPC) and units/transaction (UPT).

In everything they do, they keep these three things in mind.

They are constantly looking for ways to draw more people into their stores.

They make suggestions to their Head Office regarding new and unique advertising and marketing possibilities.

They put their full support behind the company’s efforts to add customers to the loyalty program and behind every marketing campaign which invites loyal customers in to shop more often.

They focus on increasing their average sale and units per transaction by managing the performance of their associates; by ensuring they have the merchandise, by ensuring visual displays are attractive and by keeping an impeccably clean and well organized store, among other things.

In short, HSRM’s do anything and everything they can to grow their business.

Here are some questions Highly Successful Retail Managers ask themselves to ensure they keep on growing…

  •  Am I developing my people quickly enough?
  •  Am I doing business at the level I want to?
  •  How am I being stretched and forced to grow?
  •  How can I add more value?
  •  What are the most important things to work on that will grow my business the fastest?
  •  What am I doing to prepare for future success?
  •  Are there new tactics that I should be considering?
  •  What’s next for me and my business?
  •  Have I created new value recently?
  •  When was the last time I reinvented myself?
  •  Do I need to upgrade my qualifications?
  •  When was the last time I did something innovative?
  •  Do I embrace change?

Highly Successful Retail Manager’s come to a point where they realize that the Success they have achieved so far isn’t enough…

At that point they challenge themselves to come up with new and different goals and projects, such as:

  • Developing a new and better process to tackle and fix problems raised by customers and associates.
  • Constantly identifying waste and coming up with processes to stop it.
  • Spending time and resources to generate new customers while retaining existing customers.
  • Defining clear growth goals, and investing time and energy in the staff and processes needed to meet these goals.

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